- Objectives and Tasks
Objectives and Tasks
The Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia (ACBL) is a public organization, uniting on voluntary principle the banks registered in Latvia and branches of foreign banks. It was founded on July 23, 1992. The purpose of the Association is to contribute to strengthening and developing the banking system of Latvia.
The Association takes part in developing banking regulations and improving the legal framework for businesses. It protects the rights and safeguards the interests of its members and deals with problem issues. The Association also contributes to improving the regulatory requirements for pension funds and investment funds.
Representing Collective Interests of Banks
The Association represents the interests of the financial sector at the level of public authorities and of municipalities and in domestic and international institutions.
The Association is represented in:
- National Trilateral Cooperation Council
- Board of Confederation of Employers of Latvia
- National Economy Council
- Council for Financial Sector Development
- Consultative Council of the Control Service
- Consultative Council of the Financial and Capital Market Commission
- Consultative Council of the Development Financial Institution
- Consultative Council of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau
- Consultative Council of the Register of Enterprises
- Consultative Council on Insolvency Issues
- Consultative Security Council
- Consultative Council of Housing Agency
- Business Cooperation Council of Latvia and Russia
- Investment and Business Advisory Board of the Riga City Council
- Cash and Payment Systems Working Group of the Euro Project
- National SEPA Working Group
The Association is:
- a member of the European Banking Federation (FBE)
- a member of Confederation of Employers of Latvia (LDDK)
- a member of European Mortgage Federation (EMF)
- a member of European Payments Council (EPC)
Strengthening Corporate Governance and Responsibility
The Association promotes good governance principles for banks in line with the latest international requirements. The Association has contributed to the implementation of high performance standards by developing the Code of Bank Activities and it works, on an ongoing basis, towards updating compliance principles and ensuring general understanding.
Safeguarding Consumer Rights
The Association enhances honest and fair bank-customer relationship. The Ombudsman of the Association of Commercial Banks handles complaints by customers of credit institutions. The Court of Arbitration of the Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia resolves disputes relating to the provision of financial services and other operational issues of commercial banks. The Association cooperates with the Consumer Rights Protection Centre and the Financial and Capital Market Commission in issues that relate to the provision of information to bank customers and protection of their interests.
Preparing and Implementing Joint Projects for Banks
The Association coordinates the preparation of joint bank projects, implementation of the best practice and introduction of new initiatives. In order to support SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) project, the plan for introducing SEPA in the Latvian banking sector has been developed and the recommendations and standards for bank services, guidelines for eliminating the risk associated with the use of payment cards, the common principles on the natural persons’ current account switching (list of banks that have announced their adherence to the Common Principles) and other requirements are in the pipeline.
Implementing the Best Practice for Preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
In cooperation with its members, the Association carries out significant work to improve, on an ongoing basis, the practice for preventing money laundering and terrorist financing and it cooperates with Latvian and foreign, in particular the US, authorities and financial institutions to develop recommendations to the sector and ensure that commercial banks implement an appropriate “know-your-customer” policy. In order to contribute to the implementation of the best practice, the Association holds international conferences and seminars as well as specialised courses for bank employees as well as participates in the major activities of foreign partners for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.
Providing Training and Improving Expertise
The Association supports activities of its members for training and improving expertise of their staff and exchanging experience to ensure better quality of bank operations and services to clients. The Consulting and Training Centre of the Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia offers a training programme upon completion of which the Certificate of the Latvian Banking Specialist is issued to participants; it also holds various training courses and seminars.
Compiling Statistics and Preparing Analytical Materials
In order to ensure comprehensive and analytical information about the Latvian banking sector, the Association compiles and publishes quarterly information about the main banking indicators. Twice a year, the Association prepares Economic Outlook that provides analysis of the economic development in Latvia and recommendations to the government for formulating a sustainable financial and economic policy. The Association holds annual international conference “Baltic Financial Forum” during which high-level decision makers and experts discuss topical economic and financial issues.
Arranging Internal Events for Members
In order to promote informal contacts between the employees of Latvian commercial banks and strengthen internal corporate relations in the financial system, the Association holds internal events for banks; the most significant events are annual basketball competition for bank teams “Bank Cup”, the indoor football competition among banks and the golf cup of banks.